A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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22 November 2019

Cool Stuff.

The hinged wings on the Hillman are the best thing ever. To get at the starter motor bush, I undid 4 bolts, folded back the offside wing and everything was immediately accessible without having to resort to yoga.

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I dug about in the back of the mounting flange and found that the bush wasn't the later type with a top-hat section pressed in from the back. There was a gap of about 1/8" between the hardened pin in the bell-housing and the back of the bush. That would allow a suitable extractor to hook in behind and draw it out. It didn't take a minute to knock something up and even less time to pull the bush out. Offering it up to the starter motor shaft showed it was a bit sloppy but not as much as I thought it was going to be. The gap between the armature and the field coils must be slim. I turned up a new bush, popped it in with a drop of bearing lock and left it overnight before testing. Worked a treat.

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I don't know if I mentioned this, but at one of our breakfast run venues, a chap recognised me from the time when on the way to La Ferté Alais in France in the Avro, I'd landed at Headcorn to refuel before setting out over The Channel the following morning. Now he's embarked on his own epic voyage. In the company of a Stearman and a Stinson, he's flying to Saudi Arabia in a Harvard. However many times you cross Kent's coastline and strike out over the water, the tiniest shift of a gauge's needle, the slightest change in pitch of all the noise around you, keeps you on your toes; you never quite relax and enjoy the view.

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Back at The Great Collector's Emporium and after consulting Expert Opinion, the radiator and water pump were removed from the MkVI. With the aid of a shuftiscope, evidence of partial blockage was detected in the radiator core and, while the head and everything else was out of the way, it would have been silly not to have given the water pump the once-over. To the right of the core plug that sits behind the impeller, there's a lozenge shaped hole into which a tabbed tube is inserted. This tube carries water to the back of the engine and can be a source of cooling problems when the tab rots away and the tube slips back into the block, rendering it useless. Fortunately, this tube was in excellent condition and may have already been replaced.

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One of the studs needed drilling out to split the water pump case and, as luck would have it, I found an identical 5/8" BSF replacement in stores.

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All the red Hermetite and old gasket material took some removing before the mating faces were dressed ready for reassembly and the stud and bolt threads cleaned up. New gaskets, a professionally flushed radiator, cleared waterways; cool - at least it should be.

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